Naval Station Norfolk Va. -- A couple of days after Alpha Company used helicopters to take down a police training facility in Creeds Va., Bravo Company got its shot and opted to conquer the site with seven-ton trucks and humvees.
Marines from Bravo Co., Battalion Landing Team 1st Battalion, 8th Marines, 24th Marine Expeditionary Unit, rolled up to the objective on March 5 and unleashed three platoons of hard-charging leathernecks, who quickly overwhelmed the three targeted buildings. The mission was simple: identify the members of the insurgency wanted for questioning, gather any intelligence, and annihilate any resistance. They met each challenge with enthusiasm but seemed particularly eager to accomplish the third part of the mission.
The members of Bravo fulfilled every one of their mission requirements and demonstrated, even in a training mission, their ability to take a set of orders and execute with ferocity and efficiency.
“I think this training is really good and gives them the mindset that if we do go, that if we get into a situation like that, they aren’t panicking,” said Cpl. Joel Yeager, a combat engineer and Iraq veteran from Edmond, Okla. “Anything that we’ll come across in country we’ve already hit here in training. So it’s really good training and it should keep them safe.”
The Marines went in guns blazing, and in a matter of about twenty minutes, the assault portion of the raid was complete, making way for the Sensitive Site Exploitation team to move in to gather intelligence. The SSE team found materials used to build improvised explosive devices and were able to glean important information from the insurgents they captured. The intelligence the SSE team recovered would have been instrumental in stopping the manufacturing and distribution of IED materials had the mission been in an actual combat zone.
This training further ensures that every element of the 24th MEU is able to accept the missions dictated by the MEU commander and accomplish them quickly and efficiently.
The 24th MEU is in the Hampton Roads Va., area conducting its Training in an Urban Environment Exercise in preparation for its upcoming deployment.